Saturday, July 30, 2011

My encounter with naval security and Navy Week Los Angeles 2011.

Yes that is the aircraft carrier, U.S.S.Abraham Lincoln in the background.
1612r

At the time, I was running a “liberty” shuttle, taking off duty navy personnel
to Long Beach from where the “boat” was docked in San Pedro.

Later that night, I was one of several buses taking people to a dinner and
reception held at the carrier.

Security was extremely tight with a dog sniffing the buses, and many, automatic
weapon and sidearm wearing, men and women who may have been SEALS around.

As each bus was stopped, there were instructions given for the passengers not
to photograph the “mount.”

I didn’t get it until I noticed the SEAL lying on his belly on the bed of a truck very nearby, with a tripod mounted machine gun aimed right at us, and with a finger dangerously close to the trigger.

That sure got everybody’s attention.

All in all, an interesting day’s work. This was part of the Navy Week Los Angeles 2011 festivities.

Morongobill

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nice scooter video- wonder what choice I would have made?

You will understand what I’m talking about if you watch this professionally made video clip/commercial.

Where can I get one?

Sharp video, with great sound, at least on my laptop.

I am starting to lean toward buying one of these after watching this.

Morongobill

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Five long years+ bonus video”Why does love got to be so sad?”

One of Eric Clapton’s greatest blues jams ever in my opinion.

This is from a 2003 concert in Japan.

It never stops amazing me how Eric can sing and belt out great blues or rock
lead riffs, without even watching his fingers.

Not many of the greats had that ability.

Shucking steel like a slave, a great lyric from Eric’s cover of an Eddie Boyd tune.

I just answered a comment on the recent Warren and Derek blues post, and I
needed to post some music just as awe inspiring, at least to this blogger.

Rock on. By the way, this is one of many great blues tracks on my favorite Clapton album, "From the cradle."
As promised here is a bonus video, a montage of photos set to one of the best jams off “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes, the ending guitars- Eric and Duane never fail to bring tears to my eyes.

Blistering guitar work, great lyrics and vocals. Truly one of the little known all time great rock and roll songs.

I think sometimes the Lord comes to us in music, surely it happens in this song.

Morongobill

Friday, July 22, 2011

The political elite in DC fiddle, while the rest of us “do the slow burn.”

Except these aren’t musicians and it isn’t entertainment, if you are a little down on your luck; say a jobless 99’er or a senior who depends on social security and medicare. This “performance”is a preview of even harder times to come.

For a lot of people, life is about to become even more brutish and shorter, as if they didn’t have enough problems already.

Heh you liberals out there( or maybe you call yourself a progressive), what do you think of your president now? Did you hear the firmness in his tone of voice this afternoon as he talked about ordering the leaders of the Congress back to the White House at 1100 tomorrow? Oooooooooiiiieeeee! I bet some of you think at long last he has grown a pair, I say don’t count on it.

He still sounds like the “schoolmarm” to me, they talked tough too. Except he can’t rap any of the congressional leadership’s knuckles with a ruler like a “schoolmarm” could. Social studies 101 lesson- Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the exclusive power of the purse, the president might be better served if one of his adviser’s would remind him of this fact.

You know I had an interesting conversation with a friend who is as rightwing as you get today, and for once we were in total agreement, Obama has to go. We
got to this via different routes and from different viewpoints, and I can’t help but wonder if talking heads and pundits, those who opine on politics for their living, those so called opinion makers; if they aren’t starting to come to the same idea.

The reasons for my feeling this way have been aired here many times, I will only say now that for his putting social security and medicare on the table, from the very beginning without being asked or being forced to do so by the opposition, just for that reason alone, that horrible negotiating position, shows either a real lack of judgment, or more likely, an affinity and agreement with the republican position on entitlements- he even has taken ownership of that most republican of words- entitlement.

Note to the president- it isn’t an entitlement when you paid for it. You got that?

I really don’t remember the specifics of what my friend said, I guess because I was so shocked that we were in agreement. But I am getting very worried about the mind set that seems to be taking over in Washington these days.
All you hear is cut the deficit from the political and financial classes, parasites upon the body politic if ever there were any, when the American public is overwhelming concerned about J-O-B-S AND NOT JOINING THE RANKS OF THE U-N-E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-D!

That’s a hell of a giant disconnect there, wouldn’t you say? But it doesn’t matter,the hacks have to earn all those big corporate bucks they are raking in for their next election. And all those talking heads from the corporate funded think tanks have to carry the water for corporate “massa” as well. It sure is a disgusting spectacle, kind of like watching big, fat pigs scarfing down the slop.
Absolutely sickening.

So I am prepared to go on record and say that this music recital is about to reach the final act. In my opinion, the elites that run this land, are not interested in having this nation’s credit downgraded at this exact moment. You see it costs big bucks to field armies half way around the world, to equip them, to supply them- money they get cheaply now from the foreigners, so we can wage war on the cheap, in the sense that we the people are not paying for the wars with our taxes, or in other words the rich aren’t being fairly taxed at historical wartime rates such as in WW2; they’d be idiots to bring the gravy train to a screeching halt right now, there’s too much money for them to make!

This juggling act will all come to an end if we either default, or get our credit rating downgraded. The precious rich might even be forced to pay more taxes if the worst happened, or pay higher interest rates, as all interest rates in this country are based upon the rates our treasury pays to borrow- the foundation of our whole system of credit, in other words.

But fear not, ye apologists for the elites, fear not. Because as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the morning, I believe a “grand deal” is in fact in the works. As sure as shooting, our so called liberal president and his “gang of six” are working the machinations behind the scene, pulling the strings, and I believe they will go way more than half way toward the republican position.

We working folks, the ones who actually labor for our bread, and don’t clip bond coupons, are about to be screwed as never before. The seniors and the unemployed, the students, minorities, we are all about to get the fiscal raping of a lifetime.

Let’s just see what happens over the next week or so. Again, it is the same old, same old. Take a complicated problem, allow the lobbyists unfettered access and even to write the bill, have a fake debate, have the president and others stand up and talk about shared sacrifice required of us, and after the camera strobe lights turn off, start high fiving each other before they head off to another rubber chicken dinner.

What corrupt hypocrites. I hope they choke on the deal!

In the old days of the 60’s and 70’s we would hear howls of outrage, but not now, folks are glued to their boob tubes watching the latest Lindsay Lohan escapade or some other garbage as the whole country heads even farther down the shit tubes…..

We are f---ing screwed and don’t even know it.

Work hard fellow lemmings, we are about to be called on for major sacrificing!

Morongobill

New blog up, old one in hiatus, a new direction, no more changes.

First, let me say that I just don’t have the patience sometimes for the boring,
nuts and bolts, background work required to have multiple blogs- as it pertains to site design, coding, etc.

So rather than fight with the musings site trying to change its’ look, I have put
it in the deep freeze.

New site up, in line with my previous post, and I hope it will be an open source
project
with lots of reader submissions of photo’s, video’s, trip reports, etc. Here is the link to my new blog, where desert related posts will go from now on.

Save the Mojave Desert!

This blog, the backporch, will be for all else.

This makes more sense as the new blog name is desert related.

My apologies for all my confusion, currently there are no posts up at the new site and it is rudimmentary at best, like this site, but hopefully I can get my you know what together soon.

Morongobill

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A change in direction, under contemplation for some time.

Scroll up the page if you will and look for this section.
ScreenHunter_01 Jul. 20 08.47

Sometimes you need to know whether you should fold or when to go all in.
Like some of my fellow bloggers, I have been wallowing in negativity for a long
time; let me rephrase that, they were able to move on, I wasn’t and have been
in some sort of endless negative feedback loop for a long time, all over the
loss of Ivanpah to the solar robber barons developers and what I feel was a totally unnecessary loss at that.

No more.

I will leave it to others to chronicle the continuing, ongoing, never ending heart
break unfolding in my our
beloved Mojave Desert.

I just can’t do this anymore, sorry.

Starting now, a new backporch is in the works, the purpose of which will be to
document the Mojave as it exists today, as it is enjoyed today, as it is remembered today- before the holocaust began.

Strong words, yes, but honestly written and heartfelt, to this blogger.

I can think of no others which describe for me the damage inflicted upon this vibrant ecosystem by misguided fools and knaves, in the guise of stopping
climate change.

For the last time here, I sincerely hope that they will burn in hell for what they have, are, and will do the Mojave and other wilderness.

It will get much worse and will not get any better, take it to the bank. Such
stupid and clueless shills, absolutely determined to remake nature in their image-----

No more rants, I had to get it out of my system.

I have heard here in comments and private emails, that folks would like to see the desert. I can appreciate that. But time is of the essence here folks. Talk is cheap. If you are sincere, I suggest you get off the damn pot and head to California or Nevada and visit the Mojave while it still looks like a desert, you know before it totally is transformed to Great industrialised Mojave Desert.

And when you come, bring your camera and your video gear. Document your visit, especially the plants, animals, and scenic views that you encounter. Then feel free to contact me and we will put them up here on the backporch, with credit to you, and my thanks as well as the readers’ for sharing.

I plan on starting this process with a secret destination, only secret while I figure out the logistics, remember that I don’t have 4wd or unlimited funds, but I think it will be fun for me, and fun for you to view.

Remember that I am only one person, the Mojave is huge, and would take several lifetimes to explore, so I could use a little help here. If you have video or photos laying around, and if you don’t mind sharing, or writing a trip report, please contact me and I will post it. Or set up your own blog, and start posting about your experiences, and I will link to it here.

In the meantime, those of you who have been hanging around here for a long time and have an interest in my other scribblings, let me advise you that I am bringing my other blog out of the deep freeze and will be re-blogging about other matters here.

Thanks to all for dropping by and make those travel plans. The fall is a great time to visit the Mojave.

Morongobill

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Watch this video to see how a man got a $300,000 home for under $20 bucks- Let’s move to Texas.

This came to my attention courtesy of one of my blogs that I follow, read it
here. I recommend you check out the site, African American Pundit.


You too could have paid $16 bucks for this house- who knew?

At the least, this man should be given an award for singlehandedly finding the
solution for this nation’s severe homeless population. If I was homeless, I’d be saying to myself, why stay in this smelly shelter when I could be living in a foreclosed mansion somewhere. Wait, this is a Texas law he used, so maybe he only is solving that states’ homeless problem.

It was fascinating to see how up in arms the neighbors were, and how threatened they seemed to feel, by this man’s presence in the neighborhood. Of course, if I was on the hook for a 3,000$ a month mortgage payment for the next 30 years and a dude moved in next door with only a $16.00 total payment,
I’d be pissed off too, but maybe more at myself for not figuring out the deal first.

Take this to the bank. The midnight oil is being burnt in the state capital over this, to change this law so that it doesn’t happen again. This is a body blow to the whole housing industrial complex- my prediction is that action to change the law is probably in motion right now.

You know it isn’t this man’s fault that Texas law exists allowing the practice some would say is just old fashioned “squatting.” It isn’t his fault or our fault, that our government allowed a housing bubble to develop, or that Wall Street
set the whole thing in motion; it isn’t his fault that to this day, nothing has been done except toss more of our hard earned treasure at the ones who caused the problem, the bankers. And hardly anyone has been brought to justice, the
power structure has moved on, they don’t care.

So I say, instead of being jealous and castigating this man, we should praise him for having the courage to take a chance and go for it. What he did is evidently legal in the state of Texas, for now, might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

I think he deserves a medal, what do you think?

Morongobill

Monday, July 18, 2011

How music is made- Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks jamming away at the blues! Bonus video of the day.

Long time readers here know that I am a big fan of the Allman Brothers Band.
Being a southerner from Georgia, how could I not be?

This 5 minute clip was filmed in a dressing room at a New York concert venue, filmed by the person who made a live dvd of the band.

Here is a little factoid you may not know. Duane Allman, who some feel was the greatest rock guitar of all time, used a Coricidin glass bottle as a slide. Wikipedia has the story here but I will retell it quickly. Duane was sick in bed with a cold and his brother Gregg dropped off Coricidin for his symptoms and a Taj Mahal album. A couple of hours later, Duane is up and playing slide for the first time with the glass bottle.

Check out the slides that Derek and Warren are using, take a close look.

Warren Haynes standing, Derek Trucks sitting in the foreground. This is how blues is made!

Here are the lyrics to the song they were playing. I am really surprised, look
who wrote it. I could have swore that this was an old blues song.

Old Friend
by Warren Haynes and Chris Anderson
You know hard time is just an old friend, just an old friend to me
I say hard time is just an old friend, just an old friend to me
Tell me now, old friend, when you gonna let me be?
Can't you feel a cold wind howlin' down, blowin' my song
Can't you feel a cold wind howlin' down, blowin' my song
Well, I ain't an old man, but you know my time ain't long
Gonna be a hard rain - you can hear it in the distance, sounds so near
Gonna be a hard rain - you can hear it in the distance, sounds so near
People, when the rain comes, it's gonna wash us all away from here
Mean old woman, people won't you tell me where can she be
Mean old woman, people won't you tell me where can she be
She's the only woman that ever meant a damn to me
You know hard time is just an old friend, just an old friend to me
I say hard time is just an old friend, just an old friend to me
Tell me now, old friend, when you gonna let me be?
Tell me now, old friend, when you gonna let me be?
Tell me now, old friend, when you gonna let this poor man be?

Man, I am happy that I found this video clip. Sure wish there was one of Duane
out there somewhere like it.

Enjoy.

Morongobill

Saturday, July 16, 2011

So Bill Gates thinks rooftop solar is “cute?” Does anybody here think it’s “cute” that he feels nuclear and big desert solar plants are the answer?

First a quote by Bill Gates from the interview:

“If you’re interested in cuteness, the stuff in the home is the place to go. If you’re interested in solving the world’s energy problems, it’s things like big [solar projects] in the desert.”

Don’t take my word for it. And by the way, I just received my July and August issues of Wired magazine on the same day; this is from the July issue. Here are a few links to check out what I am telling you.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/tag/bill-gates/

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/mf_qagates/all/1

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/05/bill-gates-energy-tech/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384820,00.asp

http://seekerblog.com/2011/07/14/gates-%E2%80%98cute%E2%80%99-tech-won%E2%80%99t-solve-planet%E2%80%99s-energy-woes/

Solar & Energy Efficiency are "Cute" But Not the Answer, Bill Gates Says. Nuclear Power Is.

I strongly suggest that you read the last link first for context. You will find out that Gates and/or his company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in nuclear power and especially in a startup nuclear power company there in his home state of Washington.

I sure wish now that I didn’t toss out my Wired mag with the interview in it after
finishing it Sad smile. The pages are good material you need for a visit to the outhouse.Winking smile

Without whipping the horse to death, let me see if I understand this.

One of the world’s richest men who led a top down company which became a monopoly in the computer software business, almost, and who has close business ties with nuclear power plant companies due to his huge investments in the same, is telling us that home based renewable energy or any rooftop solar for that matter, is “cute” and not a real solution?
Am I getting that right?

Hmmmm- Microsoft top down and anti- open source + electric utility companies which are top down, their way or the highway, definitely not open source by no means= serious energy solutions providing you get with the program and let them have their way with the deserts. That = good energy policy in their view.
021311mnptrip 009

You think any of the denizens of the desert could find any food anywhere in the scene in the photo above? Neither do I.

This blog and others, such as Solar Done Right have suggested that home grown power, and yes I do think that solar panels on a rooftop are cute;
solar arrays covering home and commercial rooftops and carports, etc as well as building out brown areas and other junk land with wind and solar, is the appropriate and correct way to start the process of getting out of the fossil fuel
habit- an opinion shared by groups such as the Wildlands Conservancy among
others- but of course, our small and admittedly pauperish voices are drowned out by the megaphone that the THIRTY SIX BILLION DOLLAR MAN can bring to bear. No problem getting heard by the media and average people when you are the THIRTY SIX BILLION DOLLAR MAN!
image

Above is the 36 BILLION DOLLAR MAN

By the way, if I didn’t make it clear; to me, distributed power generation is one of the ultimate expressions of open source solutions. With solar panels on your house roof or your business roof, you now don’t have to take what the monopoly chooses to offer you- you can tell the utility to stick it where the photons don’t shine.

Perhaps Mr. Microsoft, Mr. anti-open source, Mr. Pro nuclear just doesn’t get it.

Mr. Gates, feel free to email me for a private explanation. Being so well off and used to getting things your own way, you might find it instructive to hear what I or others might have to say on this matter.

That’s all folks, it might not be “cute” but it is heartfelt and true to the best of my understanding.

Thanks for dropping by the backporch.

Morongobill

 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

If these two news items don’t alarm lovers of the Ivanpah area, nothing will.

http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/quicknews/ivp-train-from-las-vegas-to-calif-gets-environment-ok--20110713,0,4936303.story

Maybe you might or not might not remember reading my take on this particular boondoggle written about 9 months ago. Yes folks, The Las Vegas to Where??? Desert Xpress has been approved, announced of course by that
famous master of boondoggles, Senator Harry Reid!

Go back and read my article for timely information that makes as much sense now as it did then, just remember this rail line will cut through part of the Mojave National Preserve and go right through the Ivanpah Valley, already being raped as you read this by Bechtel and BrightSource Energy, with the state of California CEC and the federal BLMDOI and Fish and Wildlife departments pulling the train.

Just another nail in the Ivanpah Valley coffin, but wait there’s more!

As mentioned the other day at the Mojave Desert Blog, what- you didn’t see this? Go here to read the alarming news that Shaun has discovered. Some outfit calling themselves Elissa Resources has acquired a whole slew of
mining claims in Nevada close to the Mojave National Preserve and the
Ivanpah Valley and is looking to start up a rare earths mining operation.

Think open pit mines, huge tailing piles, and toxic waste sludge percolating its’
way into the underground aquifers if it isn’t contained. After all there is a history of just that happening next door thanks to the rare earth mining operation at Mountain Pass, just a few miles up the hill from this area.
021511mojavedesertcross 002

Looking out across the freeway at part of the MolyCorp rare earth mining operation at Mountain Pass, California.

Take a look at this Google Map image which was put together by Shaun over at the Mojave Desert Blog, the areas inside the blue lines are where the mines could be potentially located.
ScreenHunter_01 Jul. 14 17.15

Looks just like harmless lines on a map doesn’t it? If you look to the right of the top blue rectangle where it says 164, that area 5 miles long north of 164 Hwy is the small and beautiful Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness, already under threat from off-roaders; how much of a threat do you you think a giant mine possibly adjacent to the west side will be to the wilderness? Oh and don’t forget the South McCullough wilderness as well as the Mojave National Preserve are just close by to all 3 of the possible mining sites.
ScreenHunter_02 Jul. 14 17.42

Above is a satellite view of the rare earth mine setup at Mountain Pass, think this won’t damage the area near Wee Thump for example? It won’t harm the scenic nature of the area, of course the apologists will say.

Look here folks, this is a very serious threat in my opinion. The modern day world of computers, and electronic high tech gadgets require these rare earths, the vast majority of which are found and mined in China. Our military, the most advanced in the world, depends on these rare earths being readily available. Recently, China in a trade spat with Japan, shut off all rare earth exports to Japan, and that was only lifted not long ago. I can foresee instances where I believe countries might even go to war over these rare earths. I guarantee our military would love to see these mines open up to ensure a continued supply of these raw materials.

So in my humble opinion, this is an overwhelming danger to the Ivanpah Valley, the Mojave National Preserve, and other scenic wilderness in the direct vicinity of these mining claims and leases.

I also believe that this Elissa Resources will be able to count on the full weight of the federal and state governments backing them on this play. Count on it, that’s how important these materials are to maintaining this new high tech world we live in.

And unlike the unproven technology at Ivanpah SEGS, this mining is easy for Wall Street to understand, and to package, and to sell, sell, sell to hedge funds, venture capitalists etc- there will be no dearth of funding I believe if ore sample tests continue coming up rich. Wall Street insiders will think it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, lining up the suckers wanting to get in on this next bonanza.

It will all depend on the assays and projected market conditions, along with national security and geopolitical considerations, as well as money availability.
Think the government might be willing to step in again as the banker of last resort if needed?

There you go another depressing post about the overwhelming danger facing the Ivanpah Valley and its’ surroundings. Sorry, I didn’t make this stuff up, and I don’t think too many will disagree with my assessment of the dangers. But being one blogger’s opinion only, feel free to disagree at will via the comments section if so desired.

After all, one man’s opinion might be another’s hyperbole.

If I had to take a guess, I think there probably will be a better chance of stopping the high speed rail project than the rare earth mine project- one our
opponents can argue the need for with a straight face, the other might be defeated as a typical political pork giveaway to the special interests, kind of like the proverbial Alaska Bridge to Nowhere that was killed.

But it will only happen if average citizens take an interest and demand action to stop them, something I believe even the most “true believer” activist deep in his or her heart knows will not occur, without a miracle happening that somehow galvanizes public opinion against the industrialization and reawakens a love for wilderness amongst the people.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for the people to gain awareness and consciousness of environmental issues as pertain to the deserts and wilderness.

Read it and weep.

Morongobill

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amazon.com and the BOZO can shove the arrogant attitude.

I won’t bore you guys by showing you the termination notices sent to me.
You might recall that I used to have their ads on my blog, supposedly a way to generate revenue with my admittedly small time, boutique backporch looking over the wild, wild web.

You guys have no idea how long I have wanted to hear these scribblings referred to as “boutique”- gotcha!

Getting back to this situation with Jeff BOZOPreston’s company, you might want to check out a couple of recent articles to gain some awareness of the issue.
http://www.logicblock.com/_blog/Logicblock%27s_Blog/post/What_the_California_Versus_Amazon_Fight_Means_for_you/

Amazon aims to have voters decide on sales-tax law

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailers-face-uphill-battle-against-amazon-2011-07-11

Seen enough? Think you have a handle on this issue?

And now a confession from Morongobill.

I confess that I have been a smalltime Amazon customer for years, off and on.
Besides the convenience, you weren’t asked to pay any sales tax. Now I never did this, but I know others who have; you could go look at something expensive at a brick-and-mortar store, see all the bells and whistles, then skip out and buy it at home, and pay no sales tax.

Well now it is time to pay the piper, folks. In case you haven’t noticed, our cities and villages and infrastructure are crumbling right in front of our very eyes. We got newly 99’ers with their whole families on the streets pushing shopping carts loaded down with all they could take out of their newly foreclosed houses- it’s terrible, and it is just in the beginning stages, we
even have Obamavilles springing up all over this country.

Wasting away in Obamaville

What I am saying is we are between a rock and a hard place here in this country and especially in California. Now is not the time, with all the talk of government cutbacks coming from the feds all the way down to the county level, for a large corporation to adopt such an arrogant attitude as Amazon is doing here. They are painting themselves into a corner, and if we had a politician say along the lines of an FDR who knew how to explain something in a way most could understand, or one who like Jack Kennedy wasn’t afraid to call a son of a bitch, a son of a bitch-  maybe Jeff Preston BOZOBezos
wouldn’t be so tone deaf to the obvious needs of the real, physical brick-and-
mortar world that the rest of us have to live in, and do the right thing here- and
render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

If you read that article from the Los Angeles Times, you will notice that the Bozo might face real opposition from the local and national retailers like Walmart over this proposed initiative ballot Amazon is thinking about trying to bring to the ballot in February.

All I can say is the Bozo sure doesn’t look like he has been in too many knock down, drag outs lately, maybe he better start eating his spinach now.
image

I’ll meet you guys at the local bookstore, okay?

Buy local.

Morongobill

Late addition here. I came across another article claiming Amazon was going to collect the sales tax so I surfed over to them, got to the checkout final stage, you look at this screenshot. It sure doesn’t look like they are collecting any tax, does it?
ScreenHunter_01 Jul. 12 08.26

Boycott Amazon and the Bozo!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Visit to the Whitewater Canyon Preserve in June 2011.

This will not be a trip report in the normal sense, but a video and photographic
report, the only writing will be the captions under the pictures.

The Whitewater Canyon Preserve is owned and maintained by the Wildlands Conservancy, a giant in the environmental and wilderness preservation field.
For full background information, please visit their wonderful site here.

Having said all of the above, please look at the following photograph, what stands out? Hint, the Wildlands Conservancy definitely puts their money where their mouth is.
060111whitewaterpreserve 006

Yes a perfect example of local, home grown, distributed power generation. When I saw that I almost fell down into
the trout pond!060111whitewaterpreserve 022

My friend and fellow blogger, Lee Murray busily snapping photos while the solar array in the background busily captures PHOTONS!
Lee Murray's blog
060111whitewaterpreserve 007

Above is the garage for the ranger’s house set at the base of the high canyon wall, across from the trout pond.

Before I forget it, the BLM has closed Whitewater Canyon due to fire hazard, but the road is open to the preserve and the preserve is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and as you will see, definitely worth a visit. Take the children and a picnic basket, there are tons of picnic tables available.
060111whitewaterpreserve 032

060111whitewaterpreserve 015

The bluffs behind this tree line the canyon forming an awesome backdrop to the trout farm and headquarters building,
plus are home to bighorn sheep which are seen from time to time atop the bluffs. You must see this in person to fully
appreciate the view.
060111whitewaterpreserve 014

One of several boulders with inspirational messages carved into the rock, in this case from a REAL wilderness activist.
060111whitewaterpreserve 028

Above the trailhead toward the mountains and the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.
060111whitewaterpreserve 029

Looking toward the headquarters building. On this day, a cooling breeze blew long and hard across the pond here.
060111whitewaterpreserve 030

What a wonderful and inspiring quote from Emerson above.
060111whitewaterpreserve 031

Yes that sign by the door does say a black bear was sighted nearby. Inside this building is a huge table top 3D map of the
area including Big Bear. Map is the wrong word, a huge table top model of all the mountain ranges, etc.
060111whitewaterpreserve 036

The view of the back side of the headquarters building, yes the stream goes right under the building.
060111whitewaterpreserve 050

A great quote from Thoreau on a boulder looking across the trout pond toward the main building.
060111whitewaterpreserve 058

I must confess that I really like this lucky shot, the best one of the bunch!
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Break out the fishing rod and the frying pan, boys! Just kidding!
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This ancient cottonwood was one of the largest that I have ever seen in my life. That’s Mount San Jacinto shining in the background.
This short 14 second video shows my effect upon the local trout population.

14 seconds long and who nows how many trout?

This video shows the scenic beauty as you walk past the rushing water to arrive at one of the trout pools.

A scenic walk at Whitewater.

The scene as I say goodbye to this beautiful area with birds singing away and the sound of rushing,running water.

You got to come see this place!

Once again, I leave you and hope that one day in the not too distant future,
that you also will be able to visit here in southern California, and that you will
go against and away from the crowds and visit sites like Whitewater Canyon
or Big Morongo Canyon; far from the madding crowds and at one with nature,
as we were all meant to be.

Thank you for visiting here and as always, your comments are welcome here on the backporch.

Morongobill

Ivanpah SEGS explained over at Wired Magazine. My opinion of their story, to use their rating- “TIRED”

Surf right over to read the story here or head down to the
supermarket or book store, flip open the magazine to view p.32, and see the
same info in person.

Wired always uses “wired” and “tired” when they sum up new technology. You see in my post title what I feel about their summation here.

Now, remember that I am no expert, no environmental engineer, when you read the following; although some say I have a PHD, or an ability to pile it high and deep!

Here are the bones I have to pick with the Wired editors. Note that the magazine excerpts are in quotes and copyright 2011 by Wired.

“The massive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert will eventually generate 370 megawatts, a 60 percent increase in US solar-power capacity.”
If it reaches this figure, it will only be on a perfect sunny day, most experts feel it will generate at much lower numbers.

ADVANCED MIRRORS
The computer-controlled sun trackers leave space underneath so plants can grow.”
Big deal, there won’t be any animals inside the fence, such as desert tortoises, etc plus how do you think a hundreds of years old yucca or creosote will do after such a traumatic event? We aren’t talking bermuda grass here. These ancient plants may not survive a

mowing like you will see in the above video.

LESS CARBON
Ivanpah’s power output is comparable to that of a small coal plant—but without the more than 640,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.”
Well right across the valley is a natural gas power plant which puts out more power on a footprint that is much smaller, and it doesn’t put out as much carbon(as a coal plant) either. And it also didn’t need a 1.6 billion dollar federal loan guarantee to get built either!

Now this statement by Wired, I agree with a 100%:

COST
The federal government is loaning $1.6 billion to BrightSource for the relatively risky project—the tech is untested at this scale.”
Yes, the only ones dumb unlucky enough to be saddled with the costs of this boondoggle are the long suffering tax payers, everybody else ran for the hills when asked to contribute. There is a reason why Wall Street with all the billions of dollars at its’ disposal never funded this pipedream.

A couple of other minuses they mention about the native American sites and the loss of animal habitat, I am in agreement with.

One statement they make about the carbon sequestering of the desert being 106 grams per cubic meter, I have no way to verify. However, some scientific studies I have heard about say that the desert sequesters carbon at a rate similar to forests, so who do you believe?

Look this is a typical Wired approach to a complicated situation- a nice backdrop image with a few pluses and minuses, about equal in number, as they always want to be fair, as well as to appear on the cutting edge of geek technology- be wired, not tired- in other words.

Basically, it appears the editors surfed over to wikileaks oops, freudian slip there, I meant wikipedia, read a couple of articles and spent way more time with the graphics department making that cool rendering of the boondoggle solar plant.

But thank the Lord, at least they didn’t commission Alexis de la Madrigal of the
Atlantic to write another puff piece shilling for BrightSource/Bechtel, my thanks to the Wired editors for not consulting him for this- the article is too balanced to have been written by him, obviously.

And you guys thought I was losing it, eh?

I may have been fighting depression lately, but I haven’t lost the ability to know a shill when I see one.

A suggestion for the editors of Wired. Why don’t you hire one of several great environmental writers available to write a detailed story about the struggle for and against this Ivanpah SEGS, a fair and balanced report if you will. I have a feeling that quite a few of your young readership might have an interest in the story. Who knows, it might even get a few environmentalists to subscribe to your magazine.

Just something to think about.

How about you, my dear readers and followers- what are your thoughts on the Wired article and how it was presented. Anything you feel is missing that shouldn’t be?

Enquiring lurkers here would sure like to see what’s on your mind. Feel free to comment at will!

Morongobill

 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Black Dog

is what Winston Churchill called his lifelong bouts of depression, and is what is on my mind today.

Look folks, this is personal but I feel a need to tell somebody, so here it is.

This black dog has been hanging around me a lot lately, and is something I have suffered from for decades, with it coming and going. This latest bout is
more intense and longer lasting than usual, and I was starting to believe that it might never lift from me.

I know there are medicines for this condition, I have seen the ads on television, but always by just enduring, eventually it would lift and things would go back to normal.

One thing I believe triggers this within me, is a major change in my life. As previously mentioned here, I recently ended a relationship of about twenty years. I will not go into any detail, just accept that I believe this could be a trigger event.

This spell now seems to have been deeper and longer than usual, which may have contributed to this “writer’s block” that I have been experiencing lately.

I would also like to thank someone that I talked to today while doing my trolley run, about writer’s block and other matters; an interaction which got me thinking perhaps I should throw caution to the winds and post about this private malady, this black dog.

I do feel better now.

Morongobill

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

FUBAR

A modern term meaning f—ked up beyond all reason, or repair.

That is a sentiment I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I could start with myself as an example. Having recently seen a 20+ year
relationship end, I have felt discombobulated quite often lately, culminating
in a mini meltdown last night when I couldn’t back in and park my trolley
properly in our bus yard, mainly because of lighting issues coupled with bus stall lines needing repainting. Whatever, I was cussing like a sailor
after I finally gave up and left it there poorly placed.

Same thing for this blog, I have finally given in to writer’s block issues and
my general laziness; to the point that I was begging for guest posts in my last
entry- a fresh reading today confirmed the desperation there that I ignored when I made the post. Fine, I am leaving it up as a reminder to me of my failure.

And speaking of this blog and others; one that has really impressed me is a new one on my sidebar, the one with Vespa in the title. This guy is an accomplished photographer as a look at the pictures will reveal, and a good writer. His blog is one of the things that has awakened an interest in riding bikes again, in particular scooters, but I will get a big Japanese one like the Yamaha or Honda, etc thank you. I look forward to hopping on one and taking off for the desert or mountains, as soon as possible.

I may have mentioned that I am down to a couple of payments left on the Morongomobile, and the rehabilitation of my credit rating finally. We will see how it goes, and what I end up with. Having just found a site online that deals with a 17,000 mile journey via moped, anything is possible.

Just kidding on that last, being an ounce or two overweight, that might kill any such vehicle if I rode it for any length of time, like that.

Today is a case in point, my Saturday actually. Hot and thundershowers out in Whitewater and Morongo Valley, where I might have gone, or I could have driven up to the mountains, maybe to the Gorgonio area. My car has a possible transmission leak situation, so I didn’t feel comfortable making the drive; with a 650 scooter, I would have been gone, no doubt about it!

Fubar, all indications are that applies quite nicely to our economic and political situation as well. Just my opinion, and I am not in the mood to rehash my thoughts on the issue right now. But I feel it sums up mine and a lot of other folks thoughts, both are f—ked up beyond all hope of repair.

Some might even say that applies to the situation our deserts face also, facing
pressure for renewable energy development, egged on by our so called “servants of the people” or otherwise known as the faceless, soul-less bureaucrats.

Fubar- sure applies to our relationships with other governments and peoples throughout the world as well. What are we at now, 6 or 7 countries that we are doing our best to “drone bomb” back into the stone age? Yes, that sure is the
way to make friends and influence people, isn’t it?

Anyway, Happy FUBAR day, everybody.

Morongobill

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